QUERY: FIRS boss Replies Presidency

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The chief executive of Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Tunde Fowler, has replied the query issued him by the presidency on the agency’s inability to meet revenue projection target.

Abba Kyari, on behalf of the president, had queried Fowler to explain “significant variances between the budgeted collections and actual collections for the period 2015 to 2018” and FIRS’s inability to meet the target.

While Mr Fowler agreed that actual tax collection since the beginning of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is lower than the 2012-2014 period under former President Goodluck Jonathan, in general terms, he told the presidency FIRS under him has performed better regarding specific non-oil tax types, such as VAT and CIT.

He associated the general lower collection since 2015 to oil market crisis which has seen a fall in commodity price compared to the period under Mr Jonathan, and recession “which slowed down economic activities.”

Fowler, in response, said: “The non-oil revenue collection grew by N1,304.20 trillion or 21 percent within the period 2016 to 2018” adding that “the total budget collection figure during 2012 to 2014 stood at N12,190.52 trillion compared to N16,771.78 trillion for the period 2016 to 2018, which represent an increase of 37.58 percent.